This post is a bit long, but you know I wouldn’t be so wordy of this was terribly important information. I mean, we’re only talking about the end of the world, right? While you’re looking forward to the New Year ahead, don’t let that pending sense of 2012 doom get you down in the dumps. Below, I’ve outlined 10 things you can be busy doing to get your mind off that doggone Apocalypse.
#10. Clean house. The pending destruction–whether it be asteroid, solar flare, supervolcano, or other–might not wipe every human off the planet, so now is a good time to get affairs in order. This can be a fun family activity! Re-write your last will and testament, mad-libs style, then begin stashing water and non-perishable foodstuffs like a squirrel prepares for winter. Also, insulate that bunker. Think about what won’t be available and stock-up on rechargeable batteries; get some solar panels and make sure you have seeds, a gun, and a shovel (as you’ll need these for the rest of the countdown).
#9. Be more emotional. Descarte was wrong. His assumption was that nature is just a bunch of particles of matter that have nothing in common other than what humans can physically, scientifically observe. The ability to rationalize, the capability of the human mind, took precedent over any thought that there’s more to matter than just matter. The universe is just a big machine, says Descartes, and there is no bigger picture beyond what you can observe. Following in this mindset, humanity began to separate nature, putting it in a box, and thus relegating as insignificant and nonconsequential any spiritual or emotional connection to this exceptionally rare, life-sustaining rock called Earth. The consequence? The only thing that matters now in environmental debates is science. No cultural, social, or relational variables are allowed to enter environmental debates. Period. Science, by its very definition, makes no room for emotion. That’s why we need to be more emotional in 2012. Heck, if we’re losing the Earth, we might as well have a good cry first.
#8. Rescue a dog. The only way to learn how to think like a rescue dog is to rescue a dog (or read my blog frequently). Rescue dogs have good days and bad days, just like humans, but we are much better at striking a balance– regardless of how many legs we might have. There’s nothing wrong with being emotional, as mentioned above, and the key is to be balanced. Rescue dogs are great at reminding humans to consider themselves blessed in the midst of their trials and tribulations. We know the key to overcoming challenges is to be thankful that we are overcoming challenges!
#7. Eat less meat. I know, I know, dogs shouldn’t advocate veganism or vegetarianism or anything of the sort, but you know what– I love my veggies, and you should too. The big problem with eating meat is what it takes to get the meat to the store that you drive to in order to purchase it. Let’s face it, you’re contributing to a rather destructive practice (see here) unless you are purchasing meat slaughtered just down the dirt road from your house or eating meat harvested from the forests and fields around your homestead.
#6. Eat something that you grow yourself. Food is important enough for two entries. Before this world ends, humans, I want you to have the experience of eating something that you buried in the earth, tended as it grew, and then harvested with your own two hands (if you have two). The obvious point of eating what you grow is that you do not have to depend on a factory farm to produce it, preserve it, and ship it. Beyond that, there is a lesser-known benefit on the human psyche when you grow and consume your own food. Give it a shot if you don’t believe me.
#5. Take it to the streets, then the courts. 2012 is the year to bring class action lawsuits against each police department whose cops abused humans at any Occupy protest. This is already in the works, and what you and I need to do for the moment is pay attention. With so many civil rights violated in such a short time span, the legal fallout is going to be highly educational. Perhaps the US Supreme Court will decide in favor of free speech. Perhaps they will say cops cannot beat or abuse humans for protesting (and that the notion one should be required to seek a permit in order to stage a protest is at face value idiodic). Do you think I am being hyperbolic? Dramatic? Look at the photo from the 1963 MLK March on Washington and ask yourself if any police department in the nation would ever again permit 250,000 humans to march on Washington D.C.. They would not. All of those people would be beaten down, maced, and cuffed. Given that the US is generally seen as a trend-setter, wouldn’t it be nice if US citizens could legally protect their own rights to their own democracy?
#4. Stop fracking around. Globably, as widely reported, the US State Department has been promoting hydrofracking. Why? Why not promote renewable and sustainable energy? Why not promote local land use: wind mills, solar cells, and responsible agriculture? The answer–the economy survives on materialism. You see, it is humans’ insatiable demand on energy to produce stuff that actually prohibits a responsible, checked, balanced interaction with the source of raw materials for “stuff”– the earth itself. The world seriously could end in 2012 unless humans start being more involved in sustaining, rather than using, the earth: Very little of the earth’s water is fresh water available for human consumption, yet humans systematically remove million of gallons of water from the water cycle each day for use in extreme energy projects. Why are humans fracking around with water just so they can get energy and money and “stuff”?
#3. Reclaim Personhood. Put laws in place that establish the differences between humans and corporations. Believe it or not, under the law, corporations are treated the same as “natural persons” even though they are not physically human beings. Corporations can do anything a human can do, and yet the word “humane” never crosses your mind when you think of a corporation. Let’s fix this, and let’s fix it soon.
#2. Say you’re sorry. Humanity doesn’t seem to like to apologize, I’ve noticed. The worst thing for someone to do is to say they are wrong, and you must admit a wrong before you can apologize for it. So, apologies are rarely heard. No human likes to be offended, and yet humans are so fragile that offenses run rampant, unchecked. The result? It becomes nearly impossible to even imagine a world in which trust, honor, forgiveness, mercy, and grace are the status quo. This entry is really about the power in language to harm and to heal, and it goes right along with the #1 entry on the bucket list…
#1. Rethink power. Not only does humanity need to rethink natural power (from #4), they also need to rethink power in general. Humans use words like “powerless,” and they talk about power as a possession– something to have, or not have. They say, “He has so much power” and “She’s a powerful woman.” Dogs don’t do this. We don’t think of being “full” of power or “losing” power. (Star Wars fans, be on standby)…
Us dogs know that power works like the way gravity works. It’s a force, not a “thing” that is divided. Power affects matter; it is not matter itself. Inspired by the likes of Foucault and Freire, dogs tend to think about power in the same way humans think about plate techtonics or Thermodynamics. If you’re standing on the earth, what is it that makes the continental plates shift toward or away from another?
And if you’re interacting with another human, what is it that attracts or repels your gut? The moment when you decide yes or no, good or bad, right or wrong, shift or stay the course– those are incidents of power. Power, rethought, is a metaphysical matrix where language intersects consciousness. Power doesn’t slosh around or move or shift– it is the force that causes the sloshing, the moving, the shifting within the human mind.
And that force is indeed physical, as a chemical reaction in the brain to the stimuli of hearing language and then interpreting it, nearly instantaneously. How can we see power? Can it be scientifically investigated? Rethinking power could probably be assisted by looking at different parts of the human brain light-up on scans when selected words are spoken. There’s got to be a human somewhere on the globe that’s studying this. I hope she or he figures it out before the world ends.